On Monday, one headline read, "200 Pound 3rd Grader Put Into Foster Care." Being a foster child myself until the age of 13 (technically 10, as I was adopted by the family that I moved in with at age 10), I was intrigued (if not, morbidly curious) at what this child's parents had done to make the state intervene in such a manner. Did this child's mother force feed him, like that mother that killed her baby by force feeding it? Or, did the child want to win some sort of Guinness Book of World Records contest by being the largest 8-year-old, and did the mother allow that? Instead of coming up with other wild and weird scenarios, I decided to read the story.
The story begins with the mother bringing her son to the hospital for breathing problems. He is severely obese and has difficulties breathing. The mother brought him home and supposedly tried to improve his diet and daily routine, but the child could not lose weight. That's when, in October, the state of Ohio decided to intervene and removed the child from his parent's, stating the mother didn't do her due diligence in keeping her child healthy.
I read the story and was disgusted. I don't know about the foster homes in Ohio, but the ones I had to endure in Massachusetts were HORRIBLE! I was mentally, physically, and sexually abused in nearly all of them (with the exception of maybe 1 or 2 - and they know who they are as I've thanked them personally). I was abused MORE in state custody than I EVER was living with my biological mother - despite having been removed for valid reasons (severe neglect, sexual, mental and physical abuse). The state of Massachusetts even had an issue granting custody of me to my biological father, solely because of his sexual preference (he is a proud homosexual, now married to a wonderful man). *Ahem* He raised my younger brother without any issues, why couldn't he have custody of me?
But enough about my past and back to the topic; there is a high chance, in my opinion, that this boy will NEVER recover from what could happen to him while in state custody. It wasn't that this child was neglected or abused, he was predisposition-ed to be heavy. He is loved by his parents. They care for him and take care of him. What could happen to this child, being ripped away from his parents, could scar him for life! Yes, he may go live with a delightful foster family, who will treat him respectfully and teach him how to eat properly, but this doesn't mean his weight will go down or even fluctuate. His genetics determine the majority of it, and his genetics are the enemy at this point - NOT his parents, so why punish them all? I feel for this kid, and I certainly feel for his family.
Now this brings me to my own children ... just yesterday I received a letter from my daughter's school detailing to me that she is currently ~ 4 ft 11 1/2 inches (59.5 inches) and 104 pounds. They are saying she is obese because the average 8-year-old is 3 ft 9 inches tall (45 inches) and roughly 57 pounds. She is in the 98th percentile.
You're saying my child is obese because she weighs more than the average 8-year-old?
Say that to me again!
According to my research, my daughter is about the size of an average 12 to 13-year-old, which is about 60 to 63 inches tall and 95 to 105 pounds. That isn't obese, that's being TALL FOR HER AGE!
For my oldest child, yes...he is obese and unfortunately I have done everything humanely possible to get him to lose the weight. I incorporate healthy foods for meals, I don't allow sugary drinks to be consumed (except on weekends or at birthday parties/special occasions), I encourage going outside and getting exercise - we have a basketball hoop and now a treadmill to promote healthy activities. But wait ... if you actually look at me, and if you look at my ancestors (and ultimately into my genetics) you will see that we (my oldest and myself) are predisposition-ed to being of a larger size. No, I'm not giving excuses, I'm stating opinion and sprinkling in some fact. Some people will just be bigger.
Now, if the state were to ever decide to take/remove my children from my home, based on the same reasonings that the state of Ohio determined to remove that other boy, you bet your bottom I will fight tooth and nail! There are straight reasons for a child to be removed from their parents, but a child being heavy certainly isn't one of them - especially if the child's parents ARE making a valiant effort.
Shame on you Ohio!